The setting is a future/alternate New York City. Because of global warming and other things (wars, explosions) the city is under water. There are bridges that connect the sky scrapers so people can get around. There's a definite caste system. Aria is the daughter of one of the most prestigious and political families. She's the fiance of Thomas, the son of the other family with power.
The only problem is that she doesn't remember Thomas. She doesn't remember being in love with him. She overdosed on Stic, an illegal drug made of distilled mystic energy, and almost died. She also lost her memories of Thomas. But only Thomas. She remembers her friends, her family and everything else. Isn't that strange? Yes. It is strange. And Aria very soon realizes that something isn't right.
She decides to visit the Depths, where the mystics live. These magical people are required to be drained of power every year and must live in the Depths, so that their magic cannot harm humans. Aria is saved from a mugging by Hunter, a mystic, and feels a very strong connection to him. She begins a clandestine relationship with Hunter, and he, along with other characters, helps Aria realize that everything she believes to be true about her world is not at all accurate. Aria has some tough decisions to make, and if she could only get her memory back, it seems like it would be easier to decide.
The world is hot, dark, and wet. The references to popular landmarks in New York made it seem real, although this is a very different New York. Aria goes from naive rich girl to "rebel with a cause" very quickly, but it is believable. Hunter is perfect -- of course. Both the characters and the cause are easy to root for. The villains - you won't know who they are - are absolutely horrific.
I did find that I was able to figure out some (but not all) of the twists before they occurred, but I still thoroughly enjoyed reading Mystic City. I had trouble putting it down. I was reading this during the Cardinals' playoff game! That's how compelling Mystic City is.
Mystic City is a Romeo & Juliet story that reminded me of Legend (probably my favorite dystopian ever). It has tension somewhat like Divergent. Because of the New York City setting, I was reminded of Partials. I would highly recommend Mystic City to fans of dystopian fiction -- an excellent addition to the genre.
Published by Delacorte, October 9, 2012
eARC obtained from NetGalley
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